Spending money on launching and marketing your new B2B eCommerce site is essential to attracting visitors. But equally, you need to make sure the site itself continues to perform at its best to maximise the number of visitors who become paying customers.
The most important thing is to make sure that your site is geared to making self-service orders as easy as possible. If it’s difficult to place an order, customers will revert to using other sales channels, which undermines the point of investing in an eCommerce website in the first place, and means the money you’re spending on marketing is wasted.
Improving conversion rate
One of the best ways to see how well your site is performing is to look at the Conversion Rate: Sales = Traffic x average Order Value (AOV) x Conversion Rate. Comparing conversion rates for your site over time is a great way to benchmark performance. And increasing conversion rate by just a small amount can make a big difference to your sales.
For example, in month one, if your traffic is 1,000 visitors, AOV is £200 and conversion rate 4.5%, sales will be £9,000. In month two, if you can improve the conversion rate to 5.5%, sales will rise to £11,000. That’s a £2,000 increase for every 1,000 visitors to your site. It’s not unusual to see B2B eCommerce sites delivering 5.5% conversion rates – but in our experience, you need a well thought out site to achieve that kind of level.
So how do you increase your conversion rate? It’s easy enough to do in the short term using standard techniques such as direct marketing, email marketing, discounts or added value promotions. But in the longer term, to create a permanent improvement in conversion rate you need to make it easier for customers to buy from your site. And that means identifying the ‘sales preventers’ and removing as many barriers to conversion as possible. This requires a close look at all the processes the customers needs to go through before they complete a purchase – from logging in and finding the products they want to buy, to knowing if the items are in stock and when they will be delivered.
Making it easier to buy
Customers may not buy for many reasons, but more often than not it comes down to three main factors: confusion, distraction or uncertainty. Here are a few tips to make it easier for people to buy from your site: